Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Development of a Chemically Relevant Artificial Fingerprint Material



Edward Sisco, Jessica L. Staymates, Katherine Schilling, John Gillen


The development of a chemically relevant artificial fingerprint material as well as a preliminary method for fingerprint deposition is discussed herein. More specifically the improvement of an artificial sweat material, an artificial sebaceous material, and the production of an emulsified mixture are presented. For fingerprint deposition, the use of a ballistics gelatin finger is outlined as a potential method to obtain artificial fingerprints without contamination from actual fingerprint residue. To determine the chemical relevancy of this material, a number of analytical techniques were used to compare the chemical signature of the artificial fingerprint material to that of actual human fingerprints. Additionally, a comparison of the ability to visually develop artificial fingerprints and real latent fingerprints using a number of different development techniques is presented. Finally, a proof of concept in the ability to dope artificial fingerprints with exogenous materials is shown.
Forensic Science International


Latent Fingerprint, Sebum, Development Techniques


Sisco, E. , Staymates, J. , Schilling, K. and Gillen, J. (2015), Development of a Chemically Relevant Artificial Fingerprint Material, Forensic Science International, [online], (Accessed May 20, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created September 15, 2015, Updated November 10, 2018